So the Noah Shebib-helmed posthumous Aaliyah album is now officially scrapped. Noah gave an interview this week where he mentions all the “bad-blood” and “negativity” surrounding Drake’s involvement with the project - proving that as popular as Drake may be, his sphere of fandom may not necessarily overlap as generously with that of Aaliyah’s fan base, or her family’s wishes for that matter.
Had this remained marketed solely as Noah’s project, blessed by Timbaland, I would imagine it would have seen the light of day but instead, whether intentional or not, it increasingly looked like Drake was taking the reigns and many people saw his lackluster (though still competent) single “Enough Said” as a warning sign of things to come. Having another artist, despite his affinity for the muse, though never actually meeting her in person while she was living, be the creative force behind the album was too much for the decision makers. It’s probably for the best…most posthumous albums turn out quite bad (looking at you MJ’s estate), most demos are just that and never meant to be fleshed out, especially after an artist dies.
My ultimate opinion is that while Aaliyah remains a constant source of inspiration for disciples of contemporary R&B, any posthumous release just cannot fully express her vision - it’s all “what if’s" at this point…and no artist’s legacy should be muddied for sake of profits. That isn’t to say there isn’t opportunity for creative endeavors (The Beatles 1 album is particularly inspiring as a template for other artists, a mash-up/remixed suite that holds true to the original recordings while breathing fresh and current life into them. ) involving her demos / old recordings, but it should be done with patience and reverence.
We’ll see what happens to Noah’s demos of Aaliyah’s demos in the future…